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1MC Cycling Club (Update)

Update from Andy Helme in March 2021:

In little more than 2 years this club has gone from riding bikes sourced from the scrap heap to becoming the strongest and most consistent junior team in Uganda, and the de facto National Youth and U23 squad, representing Uganda at East African UCI events, winning Team Bronze at the ANOCA zone youth games (Olympic Committees of Africa) and individually winning events such as Tour de Machakos in Kenya in 2019.

Achievements include right following:

  • Medals at all UCI age group events entered in 2019
  • Team Bronze at ANOCA ’19
  • 1st & 2nd for John and Paul and 3rd for Mary at Tour de Machakos International event in Kenya in 2019 ( 15 1mC riders competed, before riding the 600km home !)
  • 2nd Place for Mary and Paul, Jaqueline 5th at the Farmers’ Choice International Invitation race in Nairobi
  • 1st Place Paul, 2nd Place Mary Great Rift Valley Challenge in Kenya
  • Mary should have gone to the All African Games in Morocco in August 19, but as she did not have an original birth certificate, National ID was not obtained in time.
  • Organising and winning every category at local races in Jinja and Kampala. Top 3 positions in every event entered in 2020.
  • Ugandan Cycle Association  – Kampala Road Race – 1st for Paul and Mary.
  • Invited by Sierra Leone government to attend the Tour de Lunsar in April 2021


4 riders picked to represent Uganda at the African Continental Road Championships in Cairo 2nd-6th March 2021. So all now have passports.

Following these championships, the riders will have UCI ranking points; the first step on their way to a potential career in cycling! The perfect time for somebody to link to/sponsor theses riders for a run of good news stories / general media exposure. The opportunity for international travel and a chance to ‘achieve’ for these children is phenomenal, considering where they come from and what their prospects would usually be. The inspiration they are generating for the whole school cannot be underestimated. Though the government are now on board with representational funding, and Kampala Cycling Club will also support the riders; it is critical that these riders are able to exploit their upcoming opportunities and invitations, and this may require some funding support beyond 1mC’s present capabilities. To inspire future development of the club and younger riders it is also important to put independent funding streams in place.

At the same time as trying to provide for these ‘elite’ riders we still want to grow the club and expand the general cycling activities to provide transport, mechanical training and business opportunities for a much wider number of students. We see it being feasible, with investment, to build more of a cycling hub in the town of Jinja for the burgeoning road and MTB cycle tourism that has sprung up around what is the source of the river Nile ( Jinja is trying to fill some of the void left by the decimation of a truly World Class white water rafting community following the building of hydro plants).

1MC Cycling Club (Update)

Cycling is obviously a fast growing sport in Africa. There is no reason why East African riders couldn’t dominate the sport in future years, as they have done with long distance running; the physiological attributes are the same, it is just a case of access to resources and opportunities. European teams are starting to look at feeder teams and development programmes, and whilst Team Africa Rising talks of the continent dramatically growing its number of UCI Continental teams ( In 2018, Asia had 42 teams, Africa had 2, (both Algerian)) we are far from this happening at present. The continent has historically been very reliant on governmental investment, and that has normally amounted to merely hollow promises in the long run. Uganda is much further behind, Rwanda, Eritrea, Kenya in terms of cycle sport infrastructure / organisation/ funding and has up until now been overlooked as a feeder nation for what teams there are. Small scale sponsorship of these individuals /team, could feasibly bring great returns in a very short time period with the opportunities that are opening up for them.


There will be an African TDF winner in the next decade if the natural talent can be exploited and individuals persuaded to switch from running to cycling; and the Europeans allow them the opportunity. This is the next step we were looking for. There will be an explosion in African competitive cycling in the next few years and 1mC are ahead of this curve at the moment. I feel we need to stay there to benefit from the myriad of opportunities that will be presented; but funding is required to maintain this momentum.


It will only take one, 1mC child to be taken on as an apprentice by KRS ( never mind BikeAid) to put us firmly on the map and bring attention for all riders from the talent spotters that will slowly make their way to East Africa. This might sound fanciful, but I firmly believe it, and think we need to be at least in a position to capitalise if it does come about ! The set ups at the moment favour the Dutch, because of early investment and personnel on the ground, so we need to be in a position to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way – if of course we decide we want to venture down this path at all. This isn’t just about giving one or two individuals the chance to travel, race or progress – To become a respected development club, would be a good basis for being able to attract resources for expanding down the bicycle maintenance routes and the other spin offs that we have previously discussed as an alternative to purely academic goals. Bosco is adamant that practical training is of equal importance to academia for a large percentage of the students.